Belem Brazil

Belem, like Manaus, is a jumping-off point for those seeking Amazon adventures, and also one of Brazil's busiest ports -- about 60 miles upriver from the Atlantic Ocean. The river is the Para, part of the greater Amazon river system, and the city is built on a number of small islands intersected by channels and other rivers.

One part of Belem contains modern skyscrapers and the other part, the colonial section, has charming tree-filled squares, churches, and traditional blue tiles.

Belem is a hot and rainy city with very high humidity. The equatorial climate means little variance from day to day, but the wettest months are between January and May.

The market is on the dock and one of the largest in Brazil. It was designed and built in England and assembled in Belem. Here you'll find plenty of fresh fruits, plants, and fish, and also medicinal herbs and potions, alligator and crocodile body parts, and anaconda snakes.

The city has several good museums and restaurants and several distinctive buildings and colorful colonial structures, some with ornate iron gates.

Tips and Resources

The small villages along the river between Belem and Manaus give a good view of river life, so even a short boat visit to these communities is worth your while.

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